Finding Barefoot Shoes on Amazon | Obsessed with Barefoot Shoes (2024)

Finding Barefoot Shoes on Amazon | Obsessed with Barefoot Shoes (1)

Amazon is a great place to try barefoot shoes. When you move from traditional footwear to barefoot shoes there are so many new considerations. Your foot has been used to be cramped and your bones pulled out of alignment. Most likely you were in a shoe to small in every direction.

Enter barefoot shoes, where your toes quickly learn to spread out and your size almost always changes.

Each company in the barefoot world has different policies. Some offer completely free exchanges but charge for returns. Some are on the other side of the world and the cost and time of a return is prohibitive. If you can find options on Amazon, you can eliminate a lot of the hassle.

This list was most recently updated on November 1, 2021. I’ll try to come back and update this post with new finds. There are affiliate links below, which means that I get a commission if you decide to purchase something.

Xero (main site) – the shoes are $5 more than ordering from the company, but you get free shipping and free returns. Here are the HFS and there are many other options as well, including the men’s Alpine winter boot.

Vivobarefoot (main site, where my code OWBSHOES saves 10%) – not everything on Amazon is discounted, but they do use the site to move older clearance items. Some good discounts are available right now, like these Women’s FG Brown Trackers for $120.00 and the Gobi III Hemp for $106. Typically the sizing is limited.

Luna Sandals (main site, where my code OWBS_LUNA10 saves 10%) – Luna has numerous options on Amazon, including the Oso Flaco and Mono Winged.

Groundies Urban Barefootwear (main site) – It pays to do some cross-checking here, and the comparisons can change. Amazon can save you a ton of money.

Current Groundies deals on Amazon. PLEASE make absolutely certain you only by models marked as W. If they do not say they are wide, then they are not the barefoot version, but instead will come with a ‘regular’ (narrow) toe box:

Merrell (main site) – This company has a few different barefoot options for kids and adults. I’ve not personally bought the adult shoes, but we have used the kids BareSteps line and you can sometimes find some good deals on them. Bonus: we tried them out with Wardrobe so were able to zero in on the right fit with less hassle. The Vapor Glove and Trail Glove shoes for adults can both be found on Amazon.

New Balance (main site) – My husband transitioned to barefoot shoes with the New Balance Minimus model with a 4mm drop and not-stellar toe box that we got from Amazon. There are both men’s and women’s options.

Vibram Five Fingers (main site) – These VFFs are on Amazon, but I find the prices higher than getting new from reseller shops via Ebay. Check your numbers before buying. But at the least the free returns might be helpful in learning the models and varying sizing.

Two brands I’ve also not tried but are big with those needing more cushion or just transitioning, are also on Amazon: Altra and Topo Athletic. Please be careful about model choices, especially on the latter. Without experience, I cannot verify which are foot-friendly and which may not (same goes for tons of Merrell and New Balance models).

An important type of shoe missing in the true barefoot market is rain boots. People have been creative, however, and continued to discover potentially good (or at least less bad) rainboot options such as these Asgard rain boots that can fill the need without too big of a heel or too stiff of a sole. For kids, several people have found success in using Chacos (flat and wide, but likely stiff) and Oaki rain boots. Another route you can take are overboots like this or shoe covers like this.

There are also tons of less expensive options on Amazon for running shoes, flats, and casual wear. Their degree of minimalism varies, as well as their durability. Things to consider if/when you try them is: check the sole flexibility in bend, roll, and side squish, look for hidden drop in insoles, and check toe boxes to make sure you have adequate space for your big toe and that you don’t have an unhealthy inward angle. Lots of these are bandied about as barefoot, but the qualities vary.

Joomra – I used this Joomra shoe as I was trying to figure out what minimalist shoes to wear. I found them incredibly wide and flat without the insole, but also quite stiff. Not bad for transition times.

Whiten – This Whiten model was one that my husband considered when he was looking for his first minimalist/transitional shoe. Unsure on durability here.

Fitkicks – I have never tried the original model, but did use the cross-over early. My upturned big toenails did not agree with the tight toe caps. Lots of people love these as like a water shoe, but a little more high-end.

Tsla – I have no direct experience with these, but they seem really popular as an alternative to the Merrells above.

Troadlop – This is another one similar to Joomra and Whiten. I have not personally tried them but they could be a good starter shoe, at the least.

Saguaro – And one more similar type here, also that I have not personally tried.

It’s easy to come up with barefoot flats on Amazon. Foldable Flats is a good term to locate them. However, you may find their toebox looks kind of narrow like these or their durability is highly suspect, like these and these. Order with care.

Have you found a good minimalist shoe on Amazon? Let us know in the comments or come join the fun on Instagram.

Finding Barefoot Shoes on Amazon | Obsessed with Barefoot Shoes (2024)

FAQs

Why are podiatrists against barefoot shoes? ›

Because of the lack of heel cushioning, minimalist shoes have been associated with an increased incidence of heel (calcaneal) fractures, especially in high arched, rigid foot types.

Should you size up or down in barefoot shoes? ›

Additional toe space and why barefoot shoes should be a bit “big”. While walking barefoot, the feet both stretch and shorten, and that's why you need extra space in a barefoot shoe of up to 8 to 12 mm.

Who shouldn't wear barefoot shoes? ›

While most otherwise-healthy individuals can adapt over time to barefoot and minimalist shoes, if you have the following you might consider working with a professional: Ehlers Danlos/severe hypermobility. Rigid musculoskeletal deformities. Any pre-existing chronic foot condition.

How long does it take to see results from barefoot shoes? ›

It is not advised to simply remove your supportive or conventional shoes and start running at your usual level in barefoot shoes. The research does suggest that it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to build up the necessary strength in your feet and legs, and to adapt to this new running gait pattern.

Do orthopedics recommend barefoot shoes? ›

“I inform my patients who have had chronic knee pain that minimalist shoes are something they may wish to consider. If they have had chronic Achilles tendinitis or repetitive metatarsal stress fractures, they may not be good candidates.”

What are the cons of barefoot shoes? ›

Modern shoes have built-in cushioning to help reduce the amount of stress that is directed into the heel; with Barefoot shoes, that lack of cushioning can lead to more significant stress being put onto the muscles & bones within the foot, ankle, knee, hip and sometimes into the spine.

Do you wear socks with barefoot shoes? ›

While some purists might argue for a completely sockless approach, remember that wearing socks with barefoot shoes, be it regular socks or ones specifically designed for socks for barefoot shoes, is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

Do barefoot shoes hurt at first? ›

But don't panic – barefoot shoes can awake them to their full potential again. For that reason, your feet might hurt after you walk your first few kilometres, but that's okay. They'll get soon used to it and you'll find a whole new way of seeing the world and the ground you're walking on.

Why do podiatrists not like zero drop shoes? ›

Walking with little to no support as with zero drop shoes on hard surfaces allows our foot to collapse which can lead to a tremendous amount of stress not only to the foot but to the rest of the body.

Are barefoot shoes bad for your back? ›

Alleviated Back Pain: Barefoot shoes can be a great way to reduce back pain. A real barefoot shoe, like SOM Footwear, will have an entirely zero drop sole from heel to toe, which helps to promote natural posture, reduce strain on the lower spine, and improve balance.

Do barefoot shoes change your feet? ›

The most common visible changes are for the toes to spread out and the entire foot to widen and even lengthen. Very flat feet might actually shorten as the arch muscles become more active, and some people find they have a visible arch where none was before.

Do barefoot shoes actually help? ›

The thin, flexible bottom of a barefoot training shoe can help you get a better sense of the ground you are walking on,” she explains. “This can lead our feet to have better proprioception, which is our body's ability to sense where it is in space." This can also improve your overall balance, she says.

Are barefoot shoes good for everyday walking? ›

Even when barefoot shoes are being used in the right settings, it may not be possible to go all in with daily wear straight away. It's best to exercise caution with barefoot shoes at the beginning of the transition from regular shoes since it takes time for feet to build up strength and flexibility.

Can I just start wearing barefoot shoes? ›

Basically, you want to start by spending only one hour each day wearing your new shoes or walking barefoot. Each week you increase this time by one hour until you reach the 8-hour mark at the end of two months. At that point, most people should be able to fully switch to minimal shoes without harm.

Are barefoot shoes really good for your feet? ›

Barefoot shoes make it easier for our feet to roll naturally. This strengthens the foot's muscles and arch. More sensitivity, which promotes a more mindful gait. The flat standing and walking enables a straight body alignment.

What brand of shoes do podiatrists recommend? ›

Some of my patients are fiercely loyal about their shoes! Among the brands I hear about the most from my patients are Naot and Birkenstock sandals, Hoka One One and the Swiss brand, On Cloud X shoes for running and walking plus the ever popular New Balance shoes for running and walking.

Can going barefoot cause foot problems? ›

Over the course of weeks or months, the strain of walking barefoot can add significant stress to your arches, tendons, plantar fascia, and joints,” he says. “This can lead to a range of complications, from minor conditions such as calluses to major issues such as arch collapse.”

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